We have another new bluegrass single this week from Strengeplukk, Norwegian grassers from the city of Stavanger on the country’s southwestern coast. We first discovered their music in 2019 when they were featured in our recurring Bluegrass Beyond Borders column, and are delighted to showcase their most recent release.
The band name loosely translates to “pick the string,” a sentiment we wholeheartedly endorse. This latest single is also in Norwegian, a sure sign of the maturity of the bluegrass scene outside of the United States. In its earliest stages we find new converts singing classic songs in English, emulating artists they admire from recordings of US bands. But as pickers start learning from others in their own region – and language – they begin to write new songs about their own thoughts and experiences, and in their native tongue.
Strengeplukk started playing together in 2015 as guitarist Jakob Folke Ossum, fiddler Nikolai Storevik, and mandolinist Andreas B. Onarheim were exploring their growing interest in the music. Soon Thorbjørn André Bilstad Olsen joined them on banjo and the band was on its way. They are joined by Vidar Starheimsæter on bass.
Du likar det is the title of this new single which translates as You’ll Like It, and is a sort of missionary tale to their fellow Norwegians, encouraging them to catch the bluegrass fever.
Thorbjørn offered this rough translation of the chorus.
you’ll like it when you hear it
you gear up when it’s fast
you’ll like it when you see it
it is almost a sport
just let it happen, just stomp along
so the dirt flies off your boot
it’s not the last time I’ll be singing a bluegrass song
if there’s banjo, I’m sold
It seems they explained it perfectly, and in the driving bluegrass style that never fails to win people over.
Have a listen…
Du likar det is available as a single from popular download and streaming services online. You can learn more about Strengeplukk by visiting their web site.